Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 160

The withdrawal of Russian troops from highland areas and from Grozny resumed yesterday at full pace and without incident under Chechen escort and past Chechen checkpoints. The cease-fire is holding up well. Russia’s chief commander in Chechnya, Lt. General Vyacheslav Tikhomirov met again yesterday with Chechen chief of staff Aslan Maskhadov to coordinate the disengagement of forces. Tikhomirov asked the Chechens to return Russian armor which they captured in this month’s battle; Maskhadov replied that the armor constituted war trophies and is therefore not returnable. Tikhomirov complained about the creation of Chechen administrations loyal to the resistance leadership in a growing number of towns and districts. The new acting mayor of Grozny, for example, is Lecha Dudaev, a nephew of the late Chechen president. But Tikhomirov added that he would not insist on this political matter in order to avoid disrupting the talks on military issues.

The OSCE’s Chechnya mission staff announced yesterday that it had returned to Grozny, which it had left just before the aborted Russian assault. Mission chief Tim Guldimann, en route to Grozny, said yesterday that he had discussed the mission’s continued role in Chechnya with Aleksandr Lebed and Chechen political leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, both of whom urged continuation of the mission’s work. Guldimann pointedly endorsed Lebed’s work in Chechnya against the background of growing official obstruction and nationalist-Communist attacks in Moscow. (Russian and Western agencies, August 28)

Battle Postmortem.